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2018 DF20 Electric Start Issue

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  • 2018 DF20 Electric Start Issue

    I have a 2018 Suzuki DF20A electric start that doesn't want to start with the electric starter when cold. It will crank but not start, then I start the pull cord a couple times and it starts right up. Then I shut it down and try an electric start again, (within a minute or two of shutting down) it starts. I am thinking (not sure) that I have a problem with the high pressure fuel pump, but it doesn't make sense to me that it work when I pull start but not with the electric starter. I still have to listen for the high pressure pump to build pressure when I first turn the key. I haven't done that yet because the boat is in the water and I will have to get in the water near the pump, because I get the steady beep from the remote unit when I turn the key and can't hear anything but the beep. Yeah I know, I should have done that first.

    Other things I've done, changed the low pressure fuel filter, spark plugs, checked the 10 and 30 amp fuses, new battery and new gasoline.

    Anybody think I am on the right track, or have other things for me to check? I am trying to figure it out myself because all the local mechanics are a month out minimum, and the other reason is that I don't have a trailer and would also have to arrange transportation

    P.S.I also bought and tried the diagnostic software and wiring but I get the error that it is not connected to the ECM even though the red light comes on on the wiring when I turn the key to start. But that's a different problem. Would a 2018 respond to the 8.5 software, or is that a stupid question?


  • #2
    Have read that a faulty Air Inlet Temp (AIT) can cause hard cold starts. I will look in my service manual to see what resistance needs to be and check it. I am also going to put the SDS software on an older computer and manually assign port one to the sensor. Learned on Facebook that this could be my problem.


    • #3
      Was able to get the diagnostic software to work once I changed the com port to 1. The software didn't find any errors short of one over heat. I did remove and test the AIT sensor even though the software said it was working OK, and my meter did show resistance. I don't hear the high pressure fuel pump when I turn the key to the start position, so that either means it is already up to pressure or maybe something is wrong. Don't know why it wouldn't work when I turn to the start position but would work once running.


      • #4
        In your 1st post you said it starts right up with a couple of pulls. You don’t mention how the engine reacts when you run it at varying RPM including WOT. If it starts and runs fine with the pull cord then I would think your battery or a connection in the starting circuit has some sort of issue. Is your battery charging? If any of the sensors are acting up with electric start I would think they would act up on pull start.


        • #5
          Thanks for the reply.

          Battery is new, and charging. After shutting off and trying to start with the key, it starts right up as long as I don't wait more than a couple minutes. When running, it runs fine both at idle and at high RPMs.
          Last edited by roygpa; 06-28-2022, 10:52 AM.


          • #6
            Gremlins draining your battery? Might be time to load test your fully charged battery. Has the battery ever been frozen?


            • #7
              Battery was never frozen "as far as I know." But that's a good point, I need to purchase another battery for a different boat and will put the new one in with my DF20A. Thanks for the advice.


              • #8
                Another suggestion would be to fully charge your existing battery and record the voltage, go for a boat ride and keep checking your voltage as your underway. Throw in a few starts and watch what the voltage is doing throughout your run. When running you should be reading reading 14-15 volts on your battery terminals. This will give you an idea if your charging system is working correctly.